Hope on the horizon as we head for Fleetwood

After a fine run of form against some of the division's bigger fish, the Addicks have steadied the ship. Can we continue to rise up the table with a third consecutive win?

Until 2016 we had never played Fleetwood Town in a competitive league fixture. Whether we will face them again next season remains to be seen, as they face an uphill battle against relegation to League Two, with the bottom four starting to look slightly adrift. But, as we have seen in recent weeks, the table can change very quickly with a few good or bad results and Fleetwood come into Saturday’s game in impressive form.

When they lost at home to Portsmouth at the end of January they were nine points adrift of safety. Since then they have lost only twice in eleven games (to in-form Lincoln and Barnsley). They beat Wigan 4-2 a couple of weeks ago and got a creditable 0-0 draw at Stevenage despite playing with ten men for the last twenty minutes. They are now six points behind Cambridge and Burton who seem to be sinking fast. Manager Charlie Adam (who replaced Lee Johnson at the end of December) is getting the best out of Jayden Stockley (seven goals in fifteen games) and there is further Charlton interest in Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu in defence and Gavin Kilkenny in midfield.

Not so long ago, but in a time that seems long ago now, we were looking over our shoulders at The Cod Army. Now, if we win this one, we're nicely set up for mid-table when Stevenage  come to town on Easter Monday. At the start of the season, that's maybe not where we imagined we'd be stationed as we head into the Easter period but there's a mood and a momentum gathering that does give us higher hopes for next season.

The immediate goal then must be to get as high up the table as we can in the games that remain, so as to give us a platform of confidence for next season. Portsmouth finished eighth last season and Ipswich eleventh the year before, yet both followed this up with great campaigns. Ironically, each of those teams finished on 70 points in the season before their promotion (assuming Pompey will get promoted). This time, the highest points total we can achieve is 68 but ... the year before that classic season of winning the League One title under Chris Powell, we'd only amassed 59 points.

Things are looking up in more ways than one, with news of old favourite Tarique Fosu back training with the Addicks, alongside a few other recent additions of high-level quality and experience. Hopefully it's not too premature to say that, after a lot of despair, there's a higher degree of hope on the horizon now.


Photo Credits: Rhea Spencer-Newell @Rheaphotograph